Last updated: 03:59 PM ET, Wed July 01 2015

Houston Airport's Spaceport Plans Approved by FAA

Airlines & Airports | Donald Wood | July 01, 2015

Houston Airport's Spaceport Plans Approved by FAA

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

There are many people who would love to travel to space, and the Houston Airport System announced Tuesday that it will be at the forefront of commercial space aviation.

Ellington Airport is located in Houston, Texas, and the site has been granted a Launch Site License from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which makes the facility the 10th commercial spaceport in the United States.

According to the Houston Airport System (HAS), the approval from the FAA came two years after city council members gave their overwhelming support for the project, and the site has finally been granted the right to be a launch site for reusable launch vehicles.

The clearance from the FAA gives Ellington Airport the ability to launch micro satellites, assist in astronaut training, conduct zero gravity experiments, manufacture spacecraft and host other potential space-related activities.

Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz released a statement, saying, “Houston has been at the forefront of aviation history and innovation for decades. Not only does this opportunity reinforce an already long-established connection with the aerospace industry, it offers Houston an opportunity to strengthen its reputation as a forward-looking city and leader in creating high-tech, next-generation type jobs.”

Now that the HAS has gained the approval from the FAA, officials must start implementing plans to establish the required infrastructure and support facilities needed to accommodate reusable launch vehicles.

Airport developers picked Ellington Airport as the spaceport location for several reasons. Not only are there more than 400 acres of land readily available for development, but the strong aerospace industry in the area will also make it a pivotal location in the development of commercial space aviation.

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